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HUGHTON EXCITED FOR GREAT CHALLENGE AHEAD

14 April 2018

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton revealed his excitement towards the challenge that lies ahead for his team, as they enter the final six games of their Premier League season, starting at Selhurst Park this afternoon.

The Seagulls come up against Crystal Palace, with both teams looking to edge further away from the relegation zone, and Hughton admitted it’s a challenge that everybody associated with the club should thrive on.

He said, “It looks really tough [fixture run-in], but it’s a great challenge and as a club and a group of supporters, this is what we’ve fought so hard for - to be in this division.

“In this division comes harder and more challenging fixtures. Our supporters have been outstanding all season and we’ll need that for the last six games.

“It’s something that excites me, but it’s a big challenge. What will give us encouragement is other teams getting results against what we regard as the top six.

“You can get enthusiasm from that, and also our performances against them. Certainly our performances against Manchester United at Old Trafford and Arsenal at home.

“I would never go into any of those games thinking ‘we’re not going to get anything here’.

“I’d prefer, at this stage of the season, to be able to go into those games with the knowledge that we're in a comfortable position or safe.

“But that’s not the case at the moment, so you have to embrace these games and look forward to them.”

After two meetings at the Amex Stadium this season, the Eagles will welcome Hughton’s men to Selhurst Park for a first time, and the Albion boss assessed the electric atmosphere expected for the match.

“The nature of the stadium is different to ours - ours is perhaps a little bit more open. But I don’t know [what the atmosphere will be like].

“It’s always an advantage if things are going well - they’re playing well and they’re winning games. But sometimes, when things aren't going so well, that type of environment can go either way.

“It’s a derby game for both teams and a game that means an awful lot - points-wise and where both teams are in the league.

“We’re obviously both desperate to get points, so there’s a lot riding on the game and I hope we come away from it happier than what Palace do.”

Palace were bottom of the Premier League when Albion met them at the Amex in November, but Roy Hodgson has since guided the Eagles into 17th position, which Hughton fully expected from the former England manager.

“I’m not surprised at all. You look at the individual players in their team, and I think they’ve got an abundance of quality in their squad.

“What Roy has had to deal with in the difficult periods are injuries, particularly to [Wilfried] Zaha, who missed a period of games - but man for man, they’ve got a very good team and squad.

“It’s no surprise that he’s been able to improve what they are, and they’ve gone on to get some very good results.”

Fans can watch Chris Hughton's full look ahead to today's game with Crystal Palace on Seagulls TV above and here - and supporters can click here to sign up to the service.


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